7 Stats that Show Gift Cards are a Gift to Business Owners

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

holiday-shoppingWith the holiday marketing season in full swing, business owners are searching for ways to increase their holiday revenues. Gift cards are nothing new, but they may be the answer that retailers are looking for. A long time ago (2011), a study was released that said more than half of consumers would rather get a gift card worth $25 than get an actual gift worth $45. It’s hard to say if that exact statistic is true anymore, but there is plenty of recent research that shows gift cards are a smart marketing option for retailers who want to sell more. Here are seven statistics from the past month that show selling gift cards during the holidays can be a present to a business owner’s bottom line.

  1. A new study from the National Retail Federation suggest that gift card sales will rise significantly from last year. Each person buying gift cards during the 2014 holiday season will spend about 5 percent more than they did last year. The study estimates an average $172.74, up from $163.16 in 2013.

  2. To think of it in sales per card, Americans will spend an average of $47.87 per card, up from $45.16 in 2013. Be sure to keep plenty of $50 gift cards handy.

  3. The NRF study also supports the old data mentioned in the study. They found that 62 percent of American adults like to receive gift cards as presents.

  4. According to study by Nielsen, gift cards sales will see some of the highest increases compared to last year. They noted that 12 percent of Americans plan to spend more on gift cards during the 2014 holiday season than last year, whereas technology products and toys will each grow by an estimated 10 percent.

  5. Digital gift cards are growing in popularity, especially among millennials. According to Bankrate, 59 percent of the 62 gift cards surveyed by Bankrate.com as part of its 2014 Gift Card Survey come in digital form, a small uptick from the 54 percent of gift cards surveyed last year.

  6. Men will spend 10 percent more on gift cards than women. The NRF study found that the average American man will spend $180.81 on gift cards during the holidays this year, compared to $165.09 for women.

  7. When considering how to target gift card campaigns, keep in mind that older Americans will spend almost twice as much on gift cards than the younger generation. Those older than 65 years old buying gift cards during the 2014 holiday season will spend $204.59, compared to just $113.75 for those aged 18-24.

The character Dilbert once suggested that gift cards were an illogical gift because it simply replaces money with something that works just like money but works in fewer places and with an expiration date. Even if it’s illogical, these statistics show that consumers like to give and receive gift cards during the holidays.

Selling gift cards in stores or online is a great way to increase revenue during the holidays. They are excellent marketing options for retailers who sell things like clothes or electronics, where gift buyers may not know what specific item to buy for someone else. They’re also good for retailers who have services that aren’t useful during the winter. For example, pool cleaners may not be very busy during the winter, but they could sell service package certificates that can be used next season.

For more ideas on how to increase revenue during the holidays, read this article with tips on using Twitter during the season as well as this article on crafting better holiday campaigns.


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